CEOs unaware of cyber-based threats

CEOs unaware of cyber-based threats

New research reveals that executives at the boardroom level remain unaware of information security threats.

In a Websense-sponsored study, Ponemon Institute surveyed 4,881 IT security professionals, as well as  general IT staff in 15 countries. It found that C-level executives were unaware of security risks and also – and perhaps even more alarmingly – that info security professionals were struggling to keep pace with hackers.

Around 80 per cent of those surveyed said that company bosses fail to see the relationship between loss of confidential data and a potential risk of lost revenue, in spite of Ponemon’s indication that on average, a commercial data breach costs a company £3.2m.

Neil Thacker, strategist for Websense, said that there remains more to do.

“I see a lot of professionals in the dark at the moment.”

His comment is supported by findings in the report which revealed that only 41 per cent of those who responded (35 per cent in the United Kingdom) feel that they understand the subject well.

He added:

“We need to bring them out [of the dark] so they understand what the latest threats are.”

If businesses don’t see the importance of such a role, they may yet find that ignorance can be costly; they would be wise to keep their eyes on the news, which has shown recently just how costly it can be. The smart move may very well be to create information security vacancies and adopt that old adage, ‘Better safe than sorry’.

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